Seasons Change Musical Preference

As I was doing my daily scroll through Twitter, retweeting some cool pictures of artwork, liking a couple statuses, I came across this article by Psychology Today. The article is about how the changing of the different seasons can lead to changes in our musical preferences. Immediately, I was gravitated toward the article because along with art, I am interested in music as well. I feel like

My Photo and Edit

one of my best purchases was definitely my subscription to Spotify and Soundcloud. It’s so funny to think that nine years ago Spotify made its grand debut and finally we were able to listen to an unlimited amount of music. Through Spotify and Soundcloud I have explored endlessly, discovering different music genres, artists and sounds. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am open to listen to just about anything when it comes to music.

Anyways so I’m reading through the article and I find many things interesting. I agree that music is basically the soundtrack of our lives. We hear music everywhere, in our homes, work, parties, stores, the car. Now it might not be music that we prefer but regardless, it’s always playing in the background. On a study led by psychologist Terry Pettijohn, his team looked into the hypothesis that our changes in our playlists result from the changing of seasons, including the impact of daylight savings time. His team based their research on a previous study in which their theory was that individuals prefer content that is more mature and meaningful when facing threats in the environment. The idea was that soothing, slower, comforting songs were preferred during difficult times because they “resonate with the listener’s inner experience and help them cope better with their challenges.” I agree that emotion definitely has an impact on what kind of music we listen to. If I’m in a sad mood, I’m not going to be listening to some happy, upbeat pop song.

From these findings, Pettijohn and his team can say that seasonal changes can lead to emotional changes. One of the biggest emotional changes occur

My Photo and Edit

when the weather goes from warm to cold and having more light to less, this is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (Winter Depression). Also the cold and harshness of the winter can lead individuals to isolate themselves, I know I stay inside and don’t go out when it’s freezing outside! Spring signals a “fresh start,” everything is melting/growing and we gain an extra hour of daylight. This is also a happy time for students too because the weather is nice and in result of that there are more social gatherings. Anyways, in the studies, participants were asked to choose one of the four musical preferences in relation to a real life scenario. Pettijohn and his team found that the participants favored blues, jazz, classical and folk music during the fall and winter months and rap/hip-hop, soul/funk and electronica/dance music during the summer months. His hypothesis that our changes in our playlists result from the changing of seasons, including the impact of daylight savings time remains true to his study.

I found this study to be interesting and I feel like if the sample size and age range was greater than they could get more accurate results. The participants in this study were all college students. Lastly, I found that the second to last paragraph of the article was interesting. I am writing my senior research paper on art therapy and other therapies effect on eating disorder patients, on a slightly related note I have read a lot about cognitive behavioral therapy. I believe that cognitive behavioral therapy mixed with music therapy could benefit individuals with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Listening to upbeat, happy musics may help reduce negative effects and improve mood.

Using Paint to Heal

This evening as I was scrolling through Twitter this article caught my attention. The article is about a mother who had previously lost her daughter to a heroin overdose in 2014. To deal with this tragic loss, Anne Marie (the mother) is creating paintings of people that have passed away from drug addiction, including her daughter. I found it very interesting that article is based out of New Hampshire, concerning the on-going heroin epidemic. It’s unfortunate that New Hampshire is one of the states with the highest rates of opioid overdose in the country. I believe it’s a good thing that authorities have been cracking down on dealers who are linked to overdose deaths.

Anne Marie created a non-profit organization called the Angels of Addiction about a year after her daughter’s death. Her mission is to raise awareness of heroin addiction through her portrait oil paintings.

Oil paintings by Anne Marie Zanfagna via Facebook/Angels of Addiction

Her ultimate goal is that she plans to create a traveling art show which she plans to bring to the New Hampshire State House and the US Capitol Building. Currently, Anne Marie has created about 90 paintings and the amazing thing is, she doesn’t charge money for the portraits.

When Anne Marie was painting the portrait of her daughter to help heal she described the experience as if her daughter was spending time with her while she painted. Anne Marie’s goal is to one day fund an art therapy scholarship in her daughter’s name for a student who plans to work in addiction services. According to research, “A 2014 study found that 36.8% of US addiction treatment programs offered some form of art therapy.” I am impressed with this statistic and I am glad that art therapy is offered in treatment centers because there are many benefits to art therapy. Some of the benefits include, reduction of shame and denial, increase in motivation and communication and art therapy is a way to express yourself in a way that you cannot do verbally.

Anne Marie uses bright, fun colors to create her portraits because she wants to shatter the stigma and stereotype of people who struggle with drug addiction as bad people. I feel like this is also a true stereotype, it’s is sad to me because people are so quick to assume what a person is like based strictly on what their flaws are. I believe this article is interesting because it not only reflects what I’m interested in (art therapy) but it also demonstrates an on-going epidemic in New Hampshire (where my college is located). I don’t think some people realize how dangerous and addictive opioids can be and it’s beneficial to raise awareness to these issues to help educate others.

Creativity Rocks✌🏽🎨✏️

So I realized that I posted this image of this model of creativity earlier on my twitter page but I love it so

Wooden Beach Steps

much that I have to share it again! I came across this creativity model a while ago and I liked the principles that are illustrated in the image. The image is called, “12 Benefits of Creativity” and I feel like it’s a nice, refreshing way to display happy news with small, colorful drawings. Sometimes when I’m scrolling through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter all I come across are depressing news articles, articles that depicted all the tragedies and wrong doings in the world. Now don’t get me wrong, I like to watch the news and understand what is going on in the world, I just believe there should be positive news integrated with negative news.

The 12 benefits of creativity are:

1.Creativity is multidisciplinary.

2. Creativity allows you to express yourself.

3. Creativity promotes thinking outside the box and problem solving.

4. Creativity reduces stress and anxiety.

5. Creativity allows you to enter your happy zone and have fun.


6. Creativity gives you a sense of purpose.

7. Creativity leads to feelings of accomplishment and a sense of pride.

8. Creativity can link you to others with the same passions.

9. Creativity improves you ability to focus.

10. Creativity promotes risk-taking and iteration.

11.Creativity is a pre-requisite for innovation.

12. Creativity encourages us to be life-long learners.


I definitely agree with all of the benefits of creativity. My favorite benefits are number two, number four and number seven. Creativity allows me to express myself in a non verbal way and I really enjoy conveying my emotions through surrealist illustrations. I love that art has no boundaries, art can be essentially anything in any medium/media you can imagine!

I have a personal story to go along with the benefit, creativity reduces stress and anxiety. I while ago, starting in sixth grade I struggled with an eating disorder and my parents enrolled me in art therapy. At first I was kind of superstitious about it and I wasn’t sure if I would benefit from it. Well to my surprise, I found my love for art through healing during my art therapy sessions. I used art to reduce stress and anxiety for body perfection, I learned to accept my appearance and I gained a better insight on life.

Creativity does lead to feelings of accomplishment and sense of pride. I know that some of the best compliments I’ve received have been about my artwork. I secretly love when people comment/criticize my artwork no matter if their comments are good or bad, I find feedback so useful. Creativity is an essential part of the human experience and brings out imagination, new ideas and positive collaborations.

Take A Day for Yourself

I feel like with all of life’s adventures and stressors we all deserve to take an occasional mental health day. Mental health days give you a chance to

My Photo

relax your mind and refresh yourself. I believe that these days are very important to have regardless of deadlines that you may have due. One of your biggest priorities should honestly be your well being and how productive you are relates to how you are feeling at that time in your life.

I was scrolling through twitter a couple days ago and I came across a very cool article from Psychology Today called, “How to Know When To Take a Mental Health Day.” I thought the article was fascinating because with school work, work, finding a job after college, finding a place to live after college, working on my artwork for my exhibition, I definitely feel the stress of this semester building up on me. Knowing myself, I don’t really enjoy skipping classes because I don’t like getting behind in schoolwork but there definitely comes a point where I know that I have too many priorities at

My Photo

once and I need to take a day for myself. At first I felt guilty about skipping classes, however, after reading this article I believe taking a mental health day contributes to your productivity in the long run.

Some of the key point in the article include; treat mental health like physical health, neglecting you and leaders need to care about employee’s mental health. Mental health definitely corresponds to physical health because when I get really stressed out, my immune system weakens and I usually end up getting sick. Never neglect yourself, even if you think you’re being selfish. Between balancing school work, sorority events and creating artwork I always need to have some time for myself. Over the summer and into this fall I have been going on solo hikes and hiking has helped me clear my mind.

I found this fact in the article interesting, “The federal Department of Health and Human Services estimates that only 17% of the US population is functioning at optimal mental health.” This statistic is disappointing to me because I feel like bosses should allow an occasional mental health day for their employees. With mental health days employees will be able to be more productive and happy at their jobs. This statement applies to life in general, sometimes you just have to take a day for yourself and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Project and Research Plan

First Things First I’m Surrealist

I feel like my heart is going to explode. In all of my time at Plymouth State University I have never had a chance to exhibit my artwork that I am so passionate about. I am very excited to announce that I have secured a wall in Lamson Library to showcase my artwork. My exhibit will be installed during the last week of November and will be on view for two weeks in the months of November and December! I plan to feature some of my best paintings and mixed media works that I have worked on throughout my time here at Plymouth State University. Another exciting aspect of my exhibition is that my fellow, IDS capstone classmate Kayleigh Maria will be collaborating with me to creative market for my exhibition. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and I am curious to see how she will get the word out about my exhibit, whether it’s in the form of posters or social media or both, I’m positive she’ll do a great job!

My Artwork (Please message me if you would like to use this image.) I plan to add more panels to this watercolor/pen surrealist painting.

This project is immensely important to me because it gives me the opportunity to finally showcase my artwork that I’ve put so much passion and imagination into during my time at Plymouth State University. I feel like this is a great chance to expressive myself and put together a unique collection of my artwork. I also like the idea of collaborating with Kayleigh, since I have never participated in a gallery show, I need all the support and help I can get. I believe this collaboration process will create new ideas and broaden my perspectives on how I should showcase my work. I want to create an atmosphere that reflects the personality of my artwork and Kayleigh is willing to work with me to make this happen! I feel like this exhibition will help me meet artists and other individuals that are interested in the style of artwork that I create. With Kayleigh marketing this show, I may find potential job opportunities and my work may find

My Artwork (Please message me if you would like to use this image). Just a quick sketchbook doodle that I am hoping to incorporate into a bigger piece.

a way out into the world. This exhibit is a great way for me to show my artistic style and creativity, I really hope that students, faculty and family enjoy my artwork. My goal is to help people find inspiration in my field rather it’s through showcasing artwork or talking about my artistic processes. This exhibit will give me the confidence boost I need in order to continue getting my artwork out into the community.

I can not explain how excited I am to have this opportunity! I have always wanted to showcase my artwork in some way to the Plymouth community and inspiring artists as well. I am grateful that Kayleigh is collaborating with me to produce this exhibition and help express my unique artistic style. My goals as an Interdisciplinary Studies, Expressive Arts major is to influence others through creating artwork. I love when individuals come up with new ideas through looking at my artwork and reading my statements about my pieces. I feel like art is a great way to express your emotions, ideas, how you feel about certain issues, relieve stress and unleash your imagination.


Timeline (Subject to possible changes and flexibility)

Come up with an engaging title for my exhibition by October 10th.

Goal: To work on 1-2 pieces of artwork per week for nine consecutive weeks up until installation date.

Preorder/obtain all materials required for framing/matting/title letters by mid November.

Collaborate with Kayleigh to have all the handouts/posters printed and posted around campus/downtown Plymouth by mid November. Also have Kayleigh market the exhibition on social media such as the PSU Instagram page and PSU Facebook page, this can be an ongoing process up until the exhibition opening.

Complete and edit all artists statements/bio by the last week of November.

Complete a reaction sheet for my exhibition. I will leave this on a small table along with pens and a drop box for viewers to write what they think about the overall exhibition experience. This will be completed by the installation date.

Installation Date- The last week of November. This is when I will have framed and matted all my pieces, I will have arranged them creatively and successfully installed them on the felt wall in Lamson Library. I will set up the table with the review papers/pens/dropbox. Kayleigh and I will figure out where to put the refreshments and what music system/playlist we will use for the reception.

Exhibition Reception/Opening- Lamson Library (felt wall) December 4th at 5pm (IDS intro and capstone students and faculty please come!) There will be refreshments!

Publication to my Eport by December 12th (I will also keep a separate page for this project where I will document my progress and experience creating this exhibition).


Artistic Relief

My Artwork (message me if you would like to use this image). Seashell palette knife painting.

I am not sure how more relaxed you can get; sitting in the comfort of your safe haven, soft music playing in the background, painting a picture from your imagination. I find that the process of creating art is a way to relief stress and cope with different emotions that you are feeling. Sometimes verbal communication can feel difficult and forced, while artwork has the ability to “speak” for you. Within my research paper I will be discussing the effect of art therapy, music therapy and a couple different types of therapy on various eating disorder clients. The eating disorders that I will be focusing on are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. I will include facts/statistics, interesting case studies and quotes that I find benefit my research paper. Lastly I will include my personal experience with using art therapy to help me overcome an eating disorder that I struggled with throughout middle school.

This research topic is very engaging to me because of my personal experience and my desire to learn more about the effects of various types of therapies on different types of eating disorders. Throughout my time here at Plymouth State University I have taken various classes in psychology and art. I find the psychological mindset of individuals with eating disorders very fascinating and I want to learn about their thought processes while going through different types of therapy. On the other hand, I have a strong passion towards creating art and I wonder if that process helps individuals with eating disorders display their emotions and struggles. This research paper includes both disciplines within my major, art and psychology. I am keen to learn about this topic because it will benefit me in my future work with art therapy clients.

I feel like by the end of this research paper I will have gained insight on how art therapy, music therapy and other types of therapy effect individuals with eating disorders. As of now, the only insight I have is my own struggle with an eating disorder and my experience with art therapy. I want to know what kind of mindsets different individuals with eating disorders have and how they overcome their struggles through various types of therapy. I want to know the different types of art they create depending on what emotion they’re feeling. Collecting this information will benefit me in the future because my goal as an Interdisciplinary Studies Expressive Arts major is to inspire individuals through creating art. I desire to learn new perspectives on art therapy methods and learn about different artistic processes (creating art in different mediums) to help heal future art therapy clients.



Come up with an engaging title, this can be an ongoing process until December 10th.

Collect library resources such as books and Journals by October 10th.

Collect website articles and journal articles online by October 24th.

Write notes on sources, this is an ongoing process until I have a considerable amount of information. This information includes; facts/statistics about eating disorders, art therapy, music therapy and other types of therapy, history, content/methodology (basically the effect of art therapy, music therapy and other types of therapy on various eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, etc.), case studies and quotes that I find interesting and my personal experience with an eating disorder and using art therapy to heal.

Begin to type research paper by November 7th.

Insert hyperlinks, this can be an ongoing process depending on the rate I discover web sources.

Find images for my research paper by December 5th.

Send research paper into the Writing Center by December 6th.

Edit final draft of research paper and complete work cited page by December 10th.

Post research paper to Eport by December 12th.

Art Therapy Research & Project Ideas

I guess the reason I am procrastinating on this post so much is because I am having a difficult time narrowing down ideas. I’m not sure if I’m being indecisive or just not researching creatively but on a broad scale, there are so many different ideas and concepts involving art therapy. I feel like the problem with narrowing down research topics is the fact that I actually want to have a lot of information accessible for my paper. Not just “on the surface” facts, those are great but I also want deeper understandings of the topic, I want creative outlooks. During my web browsing for topic ideas I began by first separating the two disciplines, art and psychology. Well, the thing is, I realized I found more interesting topic ideas when I researched the two disciplines as a whole.

Atomische * Tom Giebel
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

My first research topic idea is, how does art therapy effect eating disorder clients? I find this topic really interesting because I have some personal experience. I am intrigued to learn more about how art therapy effects clients with different eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. I also wonder about the success rate of art therapy on eating disorder clients. I believe one of the major issues regarding this topic is the fact that everyone is different and one method of creating art may be more beneficial to one client than another client.

My second research topic idea is basically art therapy versus music therapy? Ive always been curious about music therapy and the effect it has on an individual. I know for me, I personal love listening to music and discovering how each song effects my emotions. Or the other way around, a lot of the time the music genre I listen to is based on how I am feeling in that present moment. One of the major issues that I’ve asked myself when picking out this topic, is should I try to find out if one therapy is better than the other? Or should I just compare and contrast the two different types of therapy?

My third research topic idea is considered a “wicked problem” within the art therapy spectrum. What is the cross-cultural issues concerning art therapy? I feel like one of the biggest problems with art therapy is how “radical” it may be compared to other traditional methods of therapy. However, growing up in this day and age, everything is changing in a somewhat rapid fashion. Therefore, new forms of therapy are bound to be discovered in the future generations. Also, the question of, does art therapy have the same meaning in one culture in comparison to another culture? All of this is really fascinating to me!

My fourth research topic idea is, are there more benefits to art therapy than other traditional therapy practices? Even though, I have experience and knowledge about art therapy, I’m curious to learn about the benefits and outcomes

(CC BY-ND 2.0)

of other traditional therapy. One of the major problems that I have with this topic is the very broad world of traditional therapy. I feel like I would definitely have to narrow traditional therapy down to one form of traditional therapy.

My fifth research topic idea is the success rate of art therapy. I would love to read about how art therapy went for different clients, I want their opinions and their personal stories. I want to know how clients choose art therapy over other therapy practices.

For my applied project, I am very biased to say that I’ll most likely create a small exhibition in a gallery space. I will continue this watercolor surrealist painting that I have started last semester in my Advanced Drawing Class. Currently, I am still working on securing a space in the Lamson Library. My exhibition will likely be open late this fall and will possibly continue into early winter. I will also include a review sheet in my exhibition, therefore, individuals can comment and write about any questions they have on the exhibition. Some other ideas I had for my applied project included; drawing/painting my emotions at the end of each week for the rest of the semester (basically how I was feeling that particular week), put together an art journal (at the moment I am honestly not entirely sure what to include in this art journal) and the last idea I came up with is to create an Art Therapy website (not a word press site). One of the major problems I have come across when brainstorming for my applied project is what to include in these things I come up with. For example, what do I put in my Art Therapy website? Should I put information about art therapy? Or should my website be advertising my own art therapy practice? These are the questions that I will be considering when picking out what I want to do for my applied project.

Interdisciplinary, Technology and Learning

Essentially, interdisciplinary, technology and learning are all connected in many ways. Interdisciplinary values are very important in this traditional world of education. It is very important for students to have a wide variety of disciplines to pick from. Students should have the opportunity to major in a couple different disciplines if they choose, rather than just one. Interdisciplinary is important in grade school education as well because how children are being taught may be the future of new educational models. Within this new technological age, we should be using technology in education in beneficial ways. In the short documentary about future learning, technology should be used in education where students are active and engaged. I feel like this is very important because I remember when I was in grade school and we would just write the times tables over and over with pencil and pa

per. This to me was not engaging and with all the new technological advancements, there are so many more options on how to effectively teach children. I was reading this article about a month ago about a music professor combining art and video. She talked about project collaborations making animations, music videos, etc. This article showed me the importance of integrating different disciplines by coming up with fun projects for students to work with. I also found that by making these art video productions, students who may have more experience in either art or video/photography may educate each other on those two different disciplines.

My final painting for my advanced painting course at PSU.

I will define interdisciplinary as your own personalized program of the things that you are passionate about. Having the knowledge of different disciplines broadens your perspectives and it also may be easier to solve problems with the knowledge of multiple disciplines. I feel like technology and learning fall under one definition because since technology is used every day in learning then that makes technology an essential tool in education. The effective use of technology has the power to help students learn more efficiently. In the video, they talk about the current education model and in some ways, that it’s not working because of students lack of motivation. Well, the big question is, “how do we get students to become motivated?” If students just sit in a classroom all day, recite things and take tests, they are not getting anything out of their education because they’re probably not enjoying themselves. Like the professor said in the video, “No one’s going to teach anyone how to shot a gun or ride a horse.” These are things that some students may be more interested in doing than sitting in a classroom reciting things. I fully agree that if the content is supposed to be fascinating than that should be reflected in the learning.

How children are taught is the future of our education. The thing that I feel like a lot of society doesn’t get it that children can teach themselves anything, even with the lack of a teacher. Children are smart and sometimes it’s a great idea to have children learn concepts on their own. At the school that I transferred from, I visited a Montessori kindergarten and I felt like they had a lot of interdisciplinary concepts. The teaching was taught in the mindset of “play,” there were a bunch of different toys, books, educational material all around the room and for half of the morning all the students would play with different things and then they would go outside to play. I feel like this learning is beneficial to students of kindergarten age because they have freedom and access to different educational disciplines at a young age. With more of this different type of education, I feel like students will have more knowledge of different things and apply this to future education.

I really hope that the future of education motivates students to do what they want to do and not what society wants them to do. I liked the quote in the video about how people in society are becoming “photocopies of each other.” Well, I hope that is not the future of our education. People all have individual interests and things that set them apart. Even if you’re doing something different from society, then that is 100% okay. I hope that the future of education contains concepts that students look forward too. Education should be fun and beneficial to you!

Discovering the Missing Part of my Education 🎨✏️📚

Honestly, a couple months after transferring to Plymouth State University, I knew I was struggling. This struggle wasn’t a type of “surface struggle,” it was the type of struggle that made me cringe when I would think about which direction my life was going. I was so conflicted about what I was doing at this college and how I was going to accomplish my goals. At first, I declared a Studio Art Major without realizing the consequences of my actions; I wasn’t going to graduate on time, I was taking sophomore level art courses as a senior and I wasn’t fortunate enough to earn enough money to go to school for an extra two years. These were the thoughts of my overthinking that spanned a good three semesters. Well luckily, I had a life changing long talk with my Studio Art Advisor who spoke to me about the Interdisciplinary Program. I was amazed, I remember I was so excited to hear about a program in which you could control your education and create your own major. In that moment, the thoughts of my struggle were replaced with future

Flickr Arturo Espinosa

images of taking the classes that I wanted to take, graduating on time and having a major that will benefit many career opportunities. When I first started thinking about how my Intro to Interdisciplinary class would be my first thought was, “refreshing.” That the class would open new education perspectives for me. I believed that I would learn new things about other student’s majors too. The best understanding that I personally gained from taking the Intro to Interdisciplinary course is the fact that I turned my education around for the better. Now, I have a more positive mindset in the direction of my education and I am fully confident that I can accomplish the goals of my IDS Program.

Before the Intro to Interdisciplinary Course I wasn’t exactly sure what “interdisciplinary” meant. I kind of had a basic idea that it meant combining different educational disciplines but I didn’t fully understand the meaning until it was explained throughout the course. Through the duration of the Intro to Interdisciplinary course I learned so much more than I thought I would. I gained understandings of what it was like to combine different disciplines through reading student’s blog posts, I learned about student’s passions and how they incorporated them within their major. Honestly to me, your passions are very important and I feel like if you aren’t committed and are unhappy with your education than it doesn’t make it genuine. I believe that IDS Programs are a good explanation of genuine education, because you integrate your passions to create your dream education. Presently, that is how I would define “interdisciplinary.”

With all the information that I have learned in the Intro to Interdisciplinary course I find it difficult to narrow it down to four concepts. The four concepts that I managed to choose are; the term “epistemology,” the cluster approach, networking/blogging and critical versus instrumental thinking. When I was introduced to the term, “epistemology,” I knew it was going to be an important part to understanding my program. According to the dictionary, epistemology is a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods and limits of human knowledge. Well, my program is Expressive Arts and I guess the epistemology of the discipline of art would be that art uses the process of creating through different mediums (painting, printmaking, ceramics, etc.) to give meaning to a piece of art work. This is universally relatable because usually behind an artist’s work is a personal idea, concept, perspective or story. For example, when I created this piece a while ago, I was struggling with an eating disorder and I wanted to spread awareness. So I created a drawing that shows 25 pictures of the life of a girl with anorexia.

Eating Disorder
My Artwork (Please Do Not Take This Picture)

This piece of artwork is very important to me because there is a lot of personal meaning behind it. I just feel like this term has a lot of relevance to Expressive Arts because the important part of helping a client through art is the creative/emotional process that they experience.  As for the next concept, the cluster approach is an important part of the future of Interdisciplinary Studies at Plymouth State University. When I read the article about the cluster approach I felt very proud of the IDS Program. I believe that it’s very important for students to integrate their learning with multiple disciplines. I feel like when you’re narrowed down to one major, you really don’t experience what other interesting disciplines have to offer. Through this cluster approach students will gain an openness to explore, create and discover. One of the quotes that I liked in the article was, we need that “holistic and synergistic change.” Even though the changes may require a different mindset , it’s always a great idea to be open to new perspectives. One of the biggest skills that I have acquired throughout this course is learning how to manage a WordPress blog and multiple social media sites. Before this course I didn’t really had a personal blog aside from my Tumblr blog that I made freshman year of high school. I find social media fascinating and I feel like it’s easy for me to keep up with all the social media apps/websites that I have on my phone and laptop. I have posted the link to my Word Press blog on a few of my social media sites because I would like to get my voice and artwork “out there.” I honestly think it is a great idea to maintain an Interdisciplinary Twitter account because social media helps you to connect with people who have the same interests as you and that can also lead to career opportunities. The last concept that I felt was beneficial to my IDS program is realizing the

The Shopping Sherpa

differences between critical and instrumental thinking. When we did an exercise with these terms in class, I wasn’t sure what category Expressive Arts would be put into. When I did a little research on the two concepts I realized that Expressive Arts could be in both categories. Expressive Arts requires critical thinking because there are multiple ways to help clients and there are multiple solutions. For example, a client may not find that painting is helping them so they may try another medium to experiment with. As for the psychological side of Expressive Arts, I believe that there is a stopping point. When a patient begins to cope with whatever they’re dealing with, to an extent you have to be able to let them grow/thrive by themselves. I am not saying that you have to cut off contact with them completely, I am saying that Expressive Arts can be a very personal journey in understanding yourself.

Like I said about the cluster approach, I feel like this approach will bring enormous success to Plymouth State and other Universities as well. I remember during class time my Intro to Interdisciplinary professor told us that Interdisciplinary Degrees were becoming more popular within Universities. The Interdisciplinary approach is very important to me because it gives me hope for my future. I guess I can say that my overall goal for the future is being able to support myself doing something I am passionate

Final Painting for Advanced Painting
My Artwork (Message me if you would like to use this image)

about. With my Interdisciplinary degree in Expressive Arts I will likely be creating art and helping/inspiring people through artistic processes. I feel very accomplished that I am walking at graduation this Spring and receiving my degree after the Fall Semester. My hope for after receiving my degree is to consider graduate school and further my art therapy education. I am also not a follower in any form, I am proud that I have broken away from a more traditional education and decided to embrace a refreshing change. I feel incredibly excited about where my Interdisciplinary future is taking me!

As you can probably tell, I am very passionate about artwork so here are some links to a couple amazing painters that have inspired me, Vladimir Kush, Betsy Walton, Jim Warren and of course Georgia O’Keeffe.

Surrealism and the Philosophy of Death

Problem Solving, Surrealist Style

My favorite course this semester is Advanced Drawing with Mike Hefferman. Up until this semester, I didn’t have a course in which you created your own drawing based solely on what you want to draw. In the beginning of the semester I had a difficult time trying to figure out what I was going to create. My process consisted of looking up artists and different mediums of artwork. I love to draw, collage, paint, print make and other various mediums however, there were just too many questions to answer (What do I draw? Should I draw realistically? Abstract? How do I make this drawing personal to me?)

            After about two weeks of picking out surrealist books from the library and sketching out ideas I finally felt like I was getting somewhere. I had been sketching the idea of a tuba with Venus fly trap vines wrapping around it and crystals coming out of the top. I honestly am not sure how I came to this idea but I wrote down lists of things that did not go together. From there I experimented with different mediums, at first I thought pastel and ink pen would work the best on a large piece of pastel paper. Well, I quickly found out that the one drawing was taking me an incredible amount of time and eventually I decided to switch to a smaller piece of watercolor paper and switch out the pastel with watercolor. I found that this method worked more efficiently and I had a lot more fun mixing the watercolors. From the one tuba drawing, I created seven more paintings that go along with it. I describe the theme of my paintings, nature versus technology. My ultimate hope is to have all ten watercolor paintings completed and hung up somewhere on campus.

This Advanced Drawing course definitely has interdisciplinary aspects. This course has taught me how to manage my time effectively, since a majority of the artwork is done outside of class. I did a lot of problem solving and creating art is not like a math equation, there is no concrete correct way to figure it out. There are many approaches, mediums, ideas and what I liked most about this course is the ability to have freedom. I feel like when I have the chance to create my own artwork without any guidelines, my creativity level increases, which also expands my imagination.

Philosophy of Death

When I came to the conclusion that I had to take a past and present direction course I wasn’t sure which one to take. Just by reading the description of the course, Death and Dying, it sounded interesting to me because I never really have taken time to think about death. I also saw that the course was a philosophy course and I wanted to challenge myself because I find philosophy (especially the readings) to be difficult at times.

I guess my initial thought about death is the feeling of fear. I wonder if it will be painful when your whole body shuts down, or maybe it depends on the way you die. I think it’s scary to think about the concept of your body shutting down but your conscious stays active. Sometimes I wonder if your conscious travels when you’re dreaming and then I think about where your conscious would go when you die. I think it’s a complicated concept that also doesn’t have a concrete answer. I think about where you go after you die, I think about having to take that last breath, does your soul leave your body or are you trapped in your body for all of eternity. The scary part of all that is you will never know until you die.

One of the books that we had to read for the course was, Death and Dying by Anne Kubler-Ross. I believe that after reading the book, I definitely have a better understanding of other people’s perceptions of death. I feel like everyone perceives/goes through the stages of death in different ways. To be honest I feel like I would go through all the stages at the same time. If I know I am close to dying and am not ready to die, I feel like I would panic and feel multiple stages at once. For example, if I died from a disease or something of that sort I don’t think I would be accepting to death because there is just so much that I want to accomplish in my life. If I die from old age and I know that I have lived a fulfilling life than I think I will be more accepting.

This Death and Dying course has opened my perceptions of death. I am always open to learn new things and I am glad that I am taking this course because I have understandings of other student’s opinions.

“Life itself can be led as a work of art” (Elliot Eisner)

I honestly had a difficult time trying to find an Interdisciplinary journal article that I was interested in reading. I believe it’s due to the fact that databases are so boring to look at! For one, I rarely come across a database article that has visuals, most of them have an abstract and a couple long paragraphs of text. Secondly, a lot of the titles are not engaging to me, I just feel like when you’re searching for an interesting article, the title should reflect it.

Anyways, enough of my rambling because I actually did find a pretty awesome journal article! This article is called, “Video Inspired the Radio Star” and the article is written by Robin Giebelhausen. Robin is an assistant professor of music education and specializes in both elementary and secondary general music at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests include secondary general music, music technology, gender issues in music and music composition pedagogy. She is inspired by Elliot Eisner (who I have quoted in the title), he has taught her that “art is constantly finding new venues and spaces to exist within.” I feel passionate about this quote and the one in the title because it is true, art is all around you, you don’t necessarily have to look for it because it’s already there.
Basically her article is about how Interdisciplinary Arts Education in music often has connective lines with drama, dance and visual arts. I believe that teamwork is an important essential skill to have throughout life’s experience. Having student work in teams to produce mixed media will definitely enhance a students ability to collaborate more efficiently with others. While they are creating this video, the students are also gaining new skills because one student may know more about music production, while another student may know more about fine arts.

She explains five projects that link music to video in order to create media arts and music interdisciplinary connections. She describes media arts as photography, video and video games. Robin quotes, “media arts, specifically video, can also be a powerful discipline to connect to music.” I feel like this quote resonates with me because music can create all these different types of emotions and I think it’s really creative when somebody makes a music video to enhance the emotions, whether its through a story or a more abstract way. The five projects that she explained are; Remade Movie Trailer, Stop Animation, Silent Film, Draw My Life and Music Video. I have heard of all of these methods to production however I have only completed two of them. One time in sixth grade my friends and I made a music video to one of Fergie’s songs (yeah, were not going to talk about that!). During junior year of high school I made a stop motion animation using construction paper cutouts and iMovie. I feel like through this experience creating this video has taught me many things. For one, I am glad that I got a basic understanding of how to use a really nice camera, video editing, as well as photo editing (Photoshop and Illustrator). Secondly, I learned to work efficiently with my team members because it was a group project. I believe all of the five projects are effective ways to combine music, art and video.

I feel strongly about this journal article as a fellow interdisciplinarian because I believe that it’s important to integrate different disciplines to create multidisciplinary programs. It can be beneficial for students to learn about all different kinds of skills and information. I wish there was an art program that combined studio arts, graphic design and art history as general electives!


Video Inspired the Radio Star. By: Giebelhausen, Robin, General Music Today, 10483713, Jan2017, Vol. 30, Issue 2

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